Our Practice

Our style of religious observance is eclectic and defies easy categorization. We are an independent Jewish community that is progressive in our approach to traditional worship and wisdom.

 

Some Friday evenings, you’ll find us welcoming in Shabbat at a pub in the Village, other times we’ll be gathering on the High Line, or meditating on the beach. Our observances are done in search of greater connection—to ourselves and to our community.

 

We know no ONE way to accomplish this.

 

Services
Our services are constantly in flux re-interpreting ancient prayers that no longer speak to us, only to return to them later with fresh interpretation. This reflects who we are and the unfolding nature of our existence.

 

We believe, fundamentally, in a Judaism that is rooted in joy, celebration and conversation. Our gatherings reflect this sensibility. Participatory music and dialogue, play key roles in the life of The New Shul.

 

Although we provide activities for younger children—so that adults can sometimes engage in more serious reflection and prayer—we often strive for events which are intergenerational in nature and feel. And we are as much in favor of excavating old, still-meaningful rituals as in creating new and innovative ones.

 

One of our defining characteristics is our “come as you are” attitude. This can be expressed in dress, in attitude, or in belief. At The New Shul, everyone is always welcome.

 

Lifecycle Events

The New Shul offers the full range of Jewish life-cycle events for its members—weddings, baby namings, funerals, conversions, minyans for those sitting shiva. See our Lifecycle page:

 

Death and Mourning Guide

Executive Committee/Governing Body

The New Shul’s unorthodox approach to community is exemplified by our governing body, the Executive Committee. We believe that participation in decision-making by a self-selected group of community members (rather than an elected Board) reflects our grassroots origins and preserves our values of inclusiveness and communal responsibility. Meetings are stimulating and productive — we brainstorm over drinks and dinner and try to achieve consensus through a process of respectful discussion.

 

We also formed an Advisory Council, which meets several times a year and consists of veteran and newer members who help with visioning and particular areas of support for the shul.
 
For more information, please contact us at info@newshul.org